National Report Shows that the Majority of Coal Plants are Contaminating Groundwater Across the U.S

National Report Shows that the Majority of Coal Plants are Contaminating Groundwater Across the U.S

Of 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 report unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash, writes Oliver Milman for The Guardian.

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Representative Image Source: Pixabay, labeled for reuse

Almost every coal-fired power plant in the US is contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollution, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of coal ash waste disposal.

Of the 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 have reported unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash, which is the remnants of coal after it is burned for energy. More than half such facilities report unsafe levels of arsenic, a carcinogen linked to multiple types of cancer, with 60% finding elevated lithium, which is associated with neurological damage.

In all, nine out of every 10 coal plants with reportable data have tainted nearby groundwater with at least one coal ash pollutant, with a majority having unsafe levels of at least four different toxins.

Visit The Guardian to find 10 worst sites in the U.S. for groundwater contamination by ash from coal-fired power plants.

Reference:  Abel Russ, Courtney Bernhardt, Lisa Evans,  " Coal’s Poisonous Legacy, National Coal Ash Report", Environmental Integrity Project, March 2019